Bolivia does seem to pride itself on extremes, and to some people I met, these can get a little tiring. ‘World´s highest city’, ‘World’s highest capital city’, ‘World’s highest pub pretending to be Irish’, etc, etc….
I personally don’t mind the superlatives, even if some are just hackneyed marketing gimmicks. So I was more than happy to be reeled in by el Camino de la Muerte, aka the ‘World’s most dangerous road’. The road is now barely used by traffic, as they opened a new safer section in 2006, but its still pretty damn hairy cycling down it, especially in rainy season when it turns into a deadly slip and slide!
Don’t believe me? Well here’s a roadside grave to prove it…
We spunked 480 Bolivianos on Vertigo Biking as we’d heard good things about them, and they turned out to be true. The main thing is having a good bike with working brakes to stop you plunging to a bitter end. And a good t-shirt. I have to admit the t-shirt was a factor.
So, despite the ruthless rain and murderous mist, it was actually a real spine-jarring buzz of a ride. You start at four thousand and something metres altitude and pedal down to around twelve hundred. As you go down further the guides let you go faster and faster, until suddenly you’re hurtling down, blinded by rain, soaked to the bone, hands frozen barely able to operate the brakes, tires slipping off the wet rocks, hitting rivers, crashing through waterfalls, losing control on mud, deaf to everything but the sound of the crunching suspension and your own breathing….
Holy mother of god! That. Was. Awesome!